Instead of our usual morning walk we piled Pheebs into the Jeep & headed off out into the desert just a short block behind our house. Locals have told us of a place called ‘House Rock’ just a few miles distant. One of those places they tell you to ‘just head out that road thar & ya can’t miss it’. Well, miss it we have for this past month because we kept looking for a big rock or hilltop that looked like a house. No wonder we couldn’t find it.
SOMEWHERE OUT THERE NEAR THOSE MOUNTAINS IS OUR DESTINATION
AT LEAST THE PUDDLES WERE NOT FROZEN THIS MORNING
A few days ago, neighbor up the road, Jerry, pointed out a large round kind of oval shaped boulder about a mile & half out in the desert at the foot of a high rock outcropping behind his place. Said that was ‘House Rock'. Sure didn’t look like no darned house to me. This morning we went looking for that round oval shaped boulder & by gum, we found it.
OH OH, THE ROAD BROKE
NOT MUCH OF A PROBLEM FOR A JEEP, BUT THOUGHT I’D STOP & TAKE A FEW PICS ANYWAY
There is history behind ‘House Rock’. It’s called a Rock simply because it is a rock. A big one. But it’s also called a House, because it was one….a long time ago. Indians lived here & their existence & past presence has been left, carved into & onto the rock. Smoke from long ago fires have blackened one side while numerous Mortero holes are evidenced around the base of the rock. Morteros are round holes ground into rock by countless hours of grinding with another rock. Indian folks ground their corn this way & we have seen Morteros in other ancient Indian villages we have seen in our southwest travels.
KELLY UNDER HOUSE ROCK WHERE ONCE MANY COOKING FIRES BURNED
ROUND GRINDING HOLES (MORTEROS) CAN BE FOUND ALL AROUND THE BASE
Indian people, centuries ago were a smaller people than we are today & ‘House Rock’ provided them with shelter from the summer rains & the winter winds & cold. The locals tell us there are many petroglyphs in the area & we did see a couple on House Rock.
KELLY & PHEEBS UNDER HOUSE ROCK LOOKING FOR PETROGLYPHS…THIS IS ACTUALLY WHERE PEOPLE LIVED
But, finding ‘House Rock’ this morning was not as simple as it seems. We headed straight back into the desert along a hard packed bumpity Jeep road. Couldn’t seem to locate the round boulder. Backed up, retraced our steps to another road, made a few U-turns, & headed south a bit through some washes & ended up following an ATV trail for a bit. No Rock. Backtracked again & while stopping to take a few photos of the Jeep angled down into a rut I heard a couple ATV’s come rumbling up behind us.
With our Jeep angled into the wash I new the ATV’ers figured we were stuck & in need of help. They stopped & I quickly walked over to assure them we were fine. Just as they were going around us the fellow on the lead ATV stopped & said, “hey, you guys ever seen ‘House Rock’? Well, what kind of a coincidence was that….. He said they were out looking for it too & had a pretty good idea where it was because of a ride through the area a few years ago. They headed off down the road in a cloud of dust & were soon out of site.
PARKED THE JEEP & HEADED OFF ON FOOT
A QUICK ‘STICKER STOP’ BUT PHEEBS ALREADY HAD IT OUT
We made our way back to the main Jeep road & turned west for about a mile. Having an image in our minds now of what we were looking for, we soon spotted ‘House Rock’ just about where the ATV’ers thought it might be. Went as far as we could with the Jeep & parked it. Saw the ATV tracks heading off through the rocks & scrub in the direction of the rock about a quarter mile away. We were on foot now.
PHEEBE SPOTS ‘HOUSE ROCK’ AHEAD ON THE LEFT, & SENSES SOMETHING, WHICH SHE SOON FOUND OUT WAS…ANOTHER DOG:))
Following the ATV’ers tracks it was a nice walk for us as we both marveled at how well Pheebe has adapted to the desert with all it’s prickly thorns & barbed Cactus. She has learned about the Prickly Pear, the thorny Mesquite, sharp edged Yuccas, jagged rocks, & Cholla plants. She deftly picks her way through the Cactus, avoiding this barb, that spear, & this knife edge. She has also learned how to quickly pick a thorn out of her paw too because we have seen her do it. But, occasionally, she still need’s Mom & Dad’s help to repair one of those flat tires. For all the running around in the desert this morning she did really well.
‘HOUSE ROCK’ IS ONE HUGE BOULDER
Approaching ‘House Rock’ on foot, we could see the two ATV’s parked by the Rock. We knew there was a Pal waiting there for Pheebe too because when they went by earlier we saw a Blue Healer dog riding in a box on the back of the green ATV.
WITH A BIT OF EFFORT, PHEEBS & KELLY MAKE THEIR WAY THROUGH THE PRICKLY MESQUITE & ANKLE TWISTING ROCKS
HEY, WAIT A MINUTE………THAT’S NOT PHEEBS
Now, as readers know, I am not good with names at all but I can tell you the Blue Healer’s name was Gila (Geela) & the young fellow driving the green ATV was Carson. Carson’s Mother & Dad were on the red ATV but I didn’t get their names. Carson’s Mom was holding down the fort at the ATV’s when we got there while Carson & his Dad were already high up in the rocks climbing for the top. Gila & Pheebs hit it off right away of course so the two of them bounded around exploring.
CARSON, HIGH IN THE ROCKS, NEARS THE TOP
CARSON’S DAD, AN 18 WHEELER FUEL HAULER FOR FLYING J UP IN MICHIGAN, MAKES IT HALF WAY TO THE TOP
Kelly & I explored all around & under House Rock & once again the history just comes alive as one’s imagination tries to imagine a tribe of people living here. Cooking fires burning, grain being ground, water being carried from somewhere & just an every day life going on for a bunch of primitive people centuries ago. It’s a real kind of history & not a manufactured kind.
KELLY, GILA, & PHEEBS
Carson made it to the top of the ridge & his Dad made it about half way before coming back down. He said he remembered a couple deep mining shafts close by so we took us for a walk down a dirt road (more about that road in a minute) for a short distance. Sure enough, a deep pit going straight down into the ground on the right side of the dirt road & a second pit angling in on the left side of the road. No barriers around these pits & if you slipped into the one going straight down….you were toast.
THE MICHIGAN FELLOW CHECKS OUT A ‘STRAIGHT DOWN’ DANGEROUS MINE SHAFT
THIS SHAFT ANGLES IN & IS DOABLE, BUT DOESN’T GO FAR
Back to ‘Rock House’ we walked, just as Carson made it back down from the ridge. Said good-bye to these folks as we headed back towards the Jeep & they headed off back to Congress on their ATV’s. Turns out they were from near Saginaw Michigan just right across Lake Huron from Bayfield Ontario. They are in Congress visiting this fellow’s Brother for the Christmas Holidays.
THE MICHIGAN FOLKS…KELLY HANDED THEM A ‘BAYFIELD BUNCH’ CARD:))
HEADING BACK TO WHERE WE LEFT THE JEEP
On the way back we were determined to find the Jeep road that led right to House Rock & now that we had our bearings we had a pretty good idea where to find it. Sure enough, following another road past an old windmill & watering trough, with many cows around it, we were able to Jeep ourselves all the way right back to ‘House Rock’. Now, for anyone visiting, we can Jeep them right to the Rock easy as pie. Nothing to finding something when you know exactly where it is eh:))
KELLY SPOTTED WHAT LOOKED LIKE A DEER IN THE MESQUITE
Rest of the day we spent in Relaxville. Kelly seemed pretty busy with the tape measure so I kept my questions to myself. Kept busy soaking up some sun in the back yard, plugging away at the blog, & wandering around outside for a bit letting my imagination wander along with me on how to do a little more desert landscaping here & there. The kind of landscaping we don’t have to spend any money on that is…………..
WHAT HAD LOOKED LIKE A DEER…WAS REALLY JUST AN OLD KNARLY MESQUITE TREE STUMP
Noticed a question in our ShoutBox about ‘fill in flash’. This is a little something that can make a great difference in your photos. Rather than try to explain it again I will just give you a couple links to a few previous posts where I have touched on, ‘fill in flash’. First, this recent OCTOBER 2012 POST & about half way through this 2010 POST I mentioned fill in flash as well.
AND THEN, FROM THE JEEP WE SPOTTED WHAT LOOKED LIKE A REAL DEER
RE-FOCUSED & YEP, IT WAS REAL ALRIGHT…IN FACT 3 OF THEM RAN ACROSS IN FRONT OF US
There are many phrases around to sum up bad luck. ‘Can’t seem to win for losing’ is one & ‘if it doesn’t rain, it pours’ is another one. We all have those days & times sooner or later & for Denise over at SASSY'S ON 'DA ROAD, she is right smack in the middle of some troubling times. ‘If it isn’t one thing, it’s another’ is a third thing that comes to mind. I remember hearing a phrase one time that said, ‘I complained about having no shoes….until I met the man who had no feet’. Sassy seems to be kind of in a situation somewhere between no shoes & no feet right now. An unfortunate spate of bad luck……………:((
KELLY POINTS OUT A PETROGLYPH ON ‘HOUSE ROCK’ TODAY
GROANER’S CORNER:(( What happens if you eat the Christmas decorations? You get tinsel-itus!
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